One GMO Success We Missed On Election Day

Written by Matt McDermott

One very interesting ballot initiative we missed: Examiner reports San Juan County, Washington passed Initiative Measure No. 2012-4, making it illegal to “propagate, cultivate, raise or grow plants, animals and other organisms which have been genetically modified.”

Exceptions are allowed for GMO cultivation for research and health care use. The initiative does not prohibit the sale of products containing GMO ingredients, nor require labeling of those products made with them.

Violating the order results in a fine for first offense, increasing to a gross misdemeanor charge on the third offense.

For those not up on their Washington State geography, San Juan County consists of several islands in the Salish Sea, roughly equidistant between the city of Bellingham to the northeast and the Canadian city of Victoria to the southwest.

In the past year several US states began efforts to mandate labeling on GMO products, all failed. Vermont and Connecticut attempted to put forth legislation requiring labeling, but both backed off on threat of lawsuit from Monsanto. California ballot initiative Prop 37 would’ve required labeling of GMO products, but failed, after a well-funded and misleading campaign launched by the biotech industry.

Nevertheless, recent surveys have shown that roughly 90% of Americans want GMO products labeled.

When India’s GMO labeling law comes into effect at the start of 2013, the US and Canada will be the only two major nations in the world that do not require products containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as such.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


Related Stories:

Did Monsanto Trick California Voters?

Monsanto Targets Kids With Pro-GMO Coloring Book

8 Reasons Not to Trust Monsanto With Your Food


Photo: Global Water Partnership/flickr

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Mit Wes
Mit Wes2 years ago

Sorry, read the sentence wrong. I thought it somehow said only th US and Canada were still growing, cultivating, etc. GMO's.

Mit Wes
Mit Wes2 years ago

"...US and Canada will be the only two major nations in the world..."

So What are Brazil, China, Argentina and Australia? Chopped liver ?

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you TreeHugger, for Sharing this!

Kim H.
Kim H.3 years ago

The best way to get nothing done is for people to look away! I choose not to look away! I should have a right to know if the food I am eating has been Genetically Modified or not! I Don't want to eat this crap and yet I have no choice???

Jutta N.
Past Member 3 years ago

GMO should be not only regulated but also strictly controlled

Marina Arteaga
Marina Arteaga3 years ago


Vincenzo Correale

Lets put more comments! Lets lift the GMO labeling stories up into the people's consciousness!

John S.
Past Member 3 years ago


Alex H.
Alex H.3 years ago

Unfortunately,the Australian government is fiercely resisting proper labelling of GMO's in food,even though the vast majority of people want it!Why,because Australia is just the lackey of the USA and its giant agribusiness corporations thanks to the heinous free trade agreement signed with the USA by the conservative Howard Government.In fact,the present Labour Federal Government is now pushing an unpopular National Food Plan onto the people,and it includes pushing GM crops and food.Disgraceful pro GM propaganda is being sent out from Melbourne University,and funded by the federal government.Australia has sold its soul and it has no national sovereignty left.

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence3 years ago

Election has come and gone, let it go - stop crying over spilled milk! We still are fighting and will continur to ..and WE can do it!